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We started our trip at the Marenco Biological Reserve, a six-seater plane ride, a bumpy taxi ride, a speedboat ride, a brief wade in the breakers, and a trudge up mossy stairs from San Jose. Did I mention that we did the last three in a raging rainstorm?
|We had our own little cabin next to a path
leading into the jungle. From our porch we could watch
toucans and parrots during the day and hear the
howler monkeys moving through the jungle at night.
|Deborah, gum boots on and umbrella in hand,
is ready for a trek down the jungle path.
|Guided walks introduced us to the flora and fauna,|
|from tiny frogs|
|and tropical blooms|
|to the elusive (can you say) three-toed tree sloth.|
|We managed to catch a little beach time in between
|Our reveries were interrupted only by the cries of
brilliantly colored macaws.
Back in San Jose for a couple of days before our trip to the north, we took a day excursion to the Rain Forest Aerial Tramway for a bird's eye view of the rain forest.
|The rain forest canopy is impressive from the forest floor,|
|but even more impressive when you can look down on it.|
|Giant ferns take on a new look,|
|and you can get up close and personal with orchids.|
|In the Tramway preserve, we saw trees with built-in security,|
|examined ferns that grow like ladders,|
|and Deborah got to touch the flower of the hot lips plant.|
|This coatimundi performs for the tourists while eating their meals.|
Our last trip was up an incredibly bumpy mountain road to stay at an alpine lodge in Monteverde, a Quaker settlement in the Cloud Forest, near the active Arenal volcano.
|The misty realm of the cloud forest is home to a rich
variety of plants, birds, mammals and butterflies.
|A transparent butterfly perches on a leaf at the Monteverde